Brand Union


How do you find your next million users?

In a nutshell

Shazam was one of the most downloaded iOS apps of all time (over 20 billion Shazams since inception), yet it faced saturation in the audio discovery space. In addition, existing users held widely divergent attitudes and behaviors with their phone: from connecting with friends, to learning about TV and movies, to discovering great deals.

Through research, we uncovered a major opportunity for Shazam: to utilize its key features of music discovery and tagging to become the go-to app for brands seeking to engage organically with consumers via music and television. We were engaged to develop a robust brand design system that would extend beyond music identification, a system that would enable Shazam to continue providing a transformative experience for music discovery and interaction.


What we did

With the aim of integrating the rich music experiences of Shazam into the lives of its users, we developed a suite of visual systems to enhance and elevate the functionality of the brand.

The mark was redrawn, giving dimension to its iconic “S” symbol. Within the app itself, when “tagging” music, a responsive motion graphic encircling the mark replaced the once flat progress bar. This reverberating ring was translated across both static and dynamic platforms, visually transforming the interactive experience.

Complemented by secondary graphics and an expanded colour palette, this system assures a richer, more connective user experience across advertising, programming and, of course, music.


13 million users on average join Shazam each month, indicating the app's importance to people across the globe


20 million Shazams now occur daily, helping users discover the content they love most


20 billion+ Shazams have occurred since the service's inception, over 10 billion more than when our work launched

The Details

Mobile experiences, particularly interactive applications virtually integrating with the real world, were emerging and in their infancy. The brand / visual identity system had to develop brand resonance and dynamic functionality to enable content collaboration for both artists and publishers. Over 600 verified artists use the app today, helping 2 billion followers embark on new music experiences and discoveries.

"The Super Bowl was our first major live network event where we enabled people to interact with all aspects of the game, including the ads and the spectacular halftime show."

Andrew Fisher, CEO

The result

Shazam’s new look launched during the 2012 Super Bowl, appearing both in Madonna’s halftime show, as well as in partner advertising for one third of all commercials. Brand awareness was propelled, and Shazam regained its prominence and relevance as a truly transformative app.

Shazam attracted the interest of billionaire Carlos Slim, who invested $40 million in 2013 in a deal that included pre-loading the app on mobile phones sold in Latin America. More recently, Shazam raised $30 million in new financing and was valued at more than $1 billion. Today, 20 million Shazams occur daily across the globe.

"The Shazam product has come such a long way since it was introduced as a voice service in 1999. The time had come to rethink the entire visual identity, allowing the brand to thrive on and off screen. All of the key elements and touch points are based on that magical moment when you discover something new."

Sam Becker, Creative Director